The former boss of the House of Mouse is ditching Mickey for the Metaverse.
That’s right, former Disney CEO Bob Iger, having already left Disney in 2021, is now jumping on board the Metaverse train.
Iger is investing in and accepting a board position in Metaverse firm Genies.
Genies has never had a friend like Bob Iger.
(Sorry, but the obvious Disney pun was low-hanging fruit. I couldn’t resist.)
The Wall Street Journal reported, “In his first career move since leaving the entertainment company in November, Mr. Iger has taken a board seat with Los Angeles-based Genies Inc. He is also an investor in the business, one of five fledgling tech companies he’s recently backed.”
Iger told The Wall Street Journal, “I was particularly interested in companies that were using technology for disruptive purposes.”
Genies offers tools for making virtual characters that include making clothing and accessories backed by NFTs.
Although the Metaverse is digital, the finances behind it are definitely real…and they’re very impressive.
For example, last year, $500 million was invested in Metaverse real estate. That’s right, real estate…in a fake world. People spent fortunes on mansions they’ll never physically visit, furnishing them with things they’ll never physically sit on. Life truly is stranger than science fiction now.
According to CNBC, “Sales of real estate in the metaverse topped $500 million last year and could double this year, according to investors and analytics firms.
Real estate sales on the four major metaverse platforms reached $501 million in 2021, according to MetaMetric Solutions. Sales in January topped $85 million, the metaverse data provider said. It projects that at this pace sales could reach nearly $1 billion in 2022.”
Companies like Walmart and Facebook Meta, and even celebrities like Snoop Dog, are all betting big on the metaverse.
In essence, although there is no specific definition of the metaverse, it is generally described as a place made of constantly evolving virtual worlds that continue to exist on their own, even when no one is playing in the virtual world.
Think of those augmented reality goggles that look ridiculous. AR tech combines the digital and physical worlds, but beyond that, the Metaverse doesn’t even require that those spaces be exclusively accessed via VR or AR.
Another aspect of the Metaverse is how it interacts with digital currency.
In some versions of the Metaverse, you can take a virtual item like clothes and cars from one platform to another, just like how, in the real world, you can buy a sweatshirt from a store and wear it to a restaurant.
As Wired Magazine put it, “Right now, most platforms have virtual identities, avatars, and inventories that are tied to just one platform, but a Metaverse might allow you to create a persona that you can take everywhere as easily as you can copy your profile picture from one social network to another.”
That’s on the verge of creating a whole continuous digital identity!
And with all the money rolling in because of it, there’s ample reason to pay attention to what’s going on.
And Bob Iger has his eyes wide open and is ready to enter the Metaverse.